USA Ultimate is the governing body of the sport of Ultimate in the United States. Founded in 1979 as the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), it was re-branded in 2010 as USA Ultimate.
Its mission is "to advance the sport of Ultimate in the United States by enhancing and promoting Character, Community, and Competition."
A major focus of USA Ultimate is the Championship Series; it sanctions certain tournaments that are held throughout the year in three divisions (Club, College, Youth) and runs the championship tournaments at the end of the respective seasons. These events are governed by the 11th Edition Rules. While the national champion is crowned in various divisions of the USA Ultimate Championships, four Canadian teams have won championships over the years in different divisions- Vancouver's Furious George (Club Open), University of British Columbia (College Women's), Stick Dog (Masters Women's), and Winnipeg's MOFO (Youth Club Mixed)
In 2008, the 40th Anniversary of the birth of Ultimate, USA Ultimate adopted a Five Year Strategic Plan with input from Ultimate players throughout the United States, in hopes of facilitating the growth and evolution of the sport for the next forty years.
Club Series Edit
The Club Division is subdivided into Open, Women's, Mixed, and Masters divisions, which have their season in the fall. The first national championship took place in 1979 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Women's division was added in 1981. The Masters Open and Women's divisions were added in 1991; the Masters Women's division was discontinued in 1997. The Mixed Division was added in 1998. Club national tournaments were held in Sarasota, FL for a number of years, but in 2012 USA Ultimate began moving around the location.
The Triple Crown Tour was established in 2013. The three achievements are: winning the US Open tournament (first Regular Season Pro Flight event), the Pro Flight Finale (last Regular Season Pro Flight event), and the National Championship. San Francisco's Revolver in the Open Division won all three achievements in 2013.
College Series Edit
The College Division is subdivided into Men's, Women's and Developmental divisions, which have their season in the spring. Over 300 Open teams and 200 Women's teams took part in the College Championship Series in 2005. The College Open division was first held in 1984 in Somerville, MA and was won by Stanford University. The College Women's Division was added in 1987.
Youth Series Edit
Originally, the National Youth championship was loosely a high school-based competition, with guidelines determining how many players must be from one high school. In the early 21st century, USA Ultimate moved more towards a complete high school nationals, which launched in 1998 in Maplewood, NJ.
In 2005, two significant changes were made: High School Nationals was split into Easterns and Westerns, split by the Mississippi river, held in May each year, and a Youth Club Championships was created, for club teams assembled from various cities/regions across North America, held in August each year at the National Sports Center. Certain states hold Ultimate state tournaments.
Other Programs Edit
Aside from the championship series, other programs exist, such as Innovation Grants which are given out to local Ultimate organizations who apply for funding for special programs.
USA Ultimate is run by a twelve-person Board of Directors that is elected by the membership; a director's term is three years, rotated such that four seats come up for election each calendar year. At least one representative is elected from each of the six USA Ultimate Club regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Central, Southwest, Northwest) with the remaining six elected from the membership at large. The Board is responsible for hiring and overseeing the executive director, budgeting, strategic planning and considering proposals, policies and rule changes.
Over 35,000 people are currently members of USA Ultimate. Memberships cost $50 per calendar year for adults and college students, $35 per year for coaches ($60 for a combined coach/player), and $30 per year for players under 19 years old who have not yet graduated from high school. A lifetime membership is also available for $900. Membership allows participation at sanctioned events, as well as a subscription to the quarterly USA Ultimate newsletter and discounts on some Ultimate paraphernalia.
USA Ultimate is a member of the World Flying Disc Federation, the international governing body for flying disc sports. WFDF is a member of the General Association for International Sport Federations (GAISF), The International World Games Association (IWGA), and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).
Championship Series HistoryEdit
Youth Club ChampionshipsEdit
High School ChampionshipsEdit
The Callahan AwardEdit
The Callahan Award is an annual award given by The Callahan Award committee, with assistance from USA Ultimate, to the best male and female college ultimate players. In addition to honoring extraordinary physical talent and skills, the Callahan Award also honors sportsmanship and leadership. Each Open and Women's team can nominate a single player for the award. Beginning in 2000, players could also be nominated for the Callahan by USA Ultimate college regional coordinators.
The winners are selected through online balloting by other college ultimate players. The award is named after Henry Callahan, one of the early pioneers and ambassadors of ultimate. The Callahan Award was initially created by Charles Kerr and was first awarded in 1996.
Past Callahan Award WinnersEdit